Ray Rice is emphatic that he was not out of shape heading into the Ravens' 2012 training camp. But at this time last year, Rice wasn't with his teammates. He was working out on his own while a resolution regarding his contract was being reached. It finally was in mid-July, but Rice missed a lot of organized team activities. This year, he is taking full advantage of Baltimore's offseason program.
"I got to do all the OTAs," Rice said via Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun. "I'll be here for mandatory minicamp. I wasn't playing football at this time last year. That was totally different. I'm picking up right where I left off. It took me about a week and a half into camp to get my football stuff back. Now that I'm actually playing football, when training camp comes, start throwing stuff at me again, I will be able to pick up on it right away."
Bernard Pierce is going to get his carries, but I don't think it's going to hurt Rice's value tremendously. Rice will still get the lion's share of the work, and I see his 2012 line -- 1,621 yards from scrimmage, 10 touchdowns -- as something closer to his floor than his ceiling this season. He is a top-five RB.